One of my most favorite regency romance series is Julie Anne Long’s Pennyroyal Green series. It currently stands at 7 books (the latest came out on Tuesday). I have re-read the series multiple times because I can’t help myself. And so I am taking the opportunity of this most recent release to review each book individually. I will go in order of the series, one review per day for the next seven days.
Since the Surrender (Pennyroyal #3)
Published in August 2009 by HarperCollins/Avon.
Fearless. Loyal. Brilliant. Ruthless. Bold words are always used to describe English war hero Captain Chase Eversea. But another word unfortunately plays a role in every Eversea’s destiny: trouble. And trouble for Chase arrives in the form of a mysterious message summoning him to a London rendezvous…where he encounters the memory of his wickedest indiscretion in the flesh: Rosalind March—the only woman he could never forget.
Five years ago, the reckless, charming beauty once craved the formidable Captain’s attention. But now Rosalind is a coolly self-possessed woman, and desire is the last thing on her mind: her sister has mysteriously disappeared and she needs Chase’s help to find her. But as their search through London’s darkest corners re-ignites long-smoldering passion and memories of old battles, Chase and Rosalind are once again challenged to surrender: to the depths of a wicked desire, and to the possibility of love.
Okay. I’m going to keep this review pretty short because here it is: I did not like this book. Oh, how it pains me to write those words about anything Long has written. And ever since I read the book (it was the last of the seven that I read), I’ve been trying to figure out why I did not enjoy it. The answer, in theory, is easy: I did not connect to the characters right from the start nor did I ever really come around. And so when it came time for me to invest in them as a couple, I just couldn’t do it. And this is despite the fact that they were ridiculously HOT together (I can’t really overemphasize this point). I mean, here is the scene when they first have sex:
She turned her head. Whispered adamantly, “Now.” She said it for his sake as well as her own: she didn’t need to be kissed. She wanted to be fucked. Too long too long it had been too long. And Captain Eversea, so accustomed to giving commands, obeyed hers. And when he moved, the slide of him inside blindsided her. Her release struck like lightning; she immolated, became light and flame.
Perhaps my dislike and disconnect was due to the reason these two characters come together in this book. As I said when I reviewed The Perils of Pleasure, I’m not a huge mystery/romance reader. And in Since the Surrender, the mystery has a commanding presence. And I just didn’t care about it. I found myself skimming sections that were primarily about finding Rosalind’s sister and, once we got to the reveal, I shrugged. It all felt too forced.
In all honesty, I might not have finished this book had it not been written by Long. I may even go back and try to re-read it to make sure that it wasn’t that I happened to read it at a time when I was particularly impatient or unfocused — that is how much I respect her writing and narrative ability.
Still, I give Since the Surrender 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Next up: I Kissed An Earl.